SEASIDE, Calif. - The UC San Diego softball team split a league doubleheader at Cal State Monterey Bay Friday, dropping the opener 2-1 and rebounding to take a 3-1 victory in game two at the Otter Sports Complex.
UCSD moved to 10-10 overall and 6-4 in California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) play. Monterey Bay is 11-8 on the season and 6-4 in the league.
In game two, the Tritons led 2-0 with single runs in the second and third innings. Alissa Gutierrez had a base hit to lead off the second frame and was sacrificed to second base by Amani Proctor. Dyanna Imoto then stroked a double down the right field line, plating Gutierrez for the game's first run.
In the third, Taylor Sepulveda singled to lead off and eventually came around to scored on a bunt by Caitlin Brown.
The Otters got a run back in the bottom half of the third. With one out, Vanessa Avila singled to right-center and scored during the next at-bat as Cori Reinhardt tripled down the left field line.
UCSD added an insurance run in the fifth when Callie Grant drew a two out walk and stole second. A double to center by Sepulveda drove Grant in.
Monterey Bay left two runners on base in the fifth and another in the sixth.
Jennifer Manuel improved to 3-0 in the circle, giving up seven hits over four innings of work. Kayla Hensel kept the Otters hitless over the final three innings to earn her first save.
Four Tritons finished with two hits each, including Grant, Gutierrez, Sepulveda and Spangler.
"Finding the consistency of execution and then coming up clutch is key," said UCSD head coach Patti Gerckens. "I think it was good to come out and punch back and win that second game."
Errors proved to be the Tritons' downfall in the first game of the day.
The Otters took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning with a pair of unearned runs due to three errors committed by the UCSD infield.
In the top of the fifth, the Tritons plated an unearned run of their own. Emily McQuaid reached on an infield error and was sacrificed to second by Mya Romero. Following a strike out, Sepulveda singled to scored McQuaid.
The Tritons threatened in the sixth, but ended up leaving two runners stranded.
Alexis Edwards (0-1) suffered the loss as she gave up the two unearned runs on seven hits. She struck out five and walked four over six innings.
Sepulveda had two of UCSD's five hits.
"I was very disappointed with how we played defensively and not being able to get the clutch hit when we needed it," said Gerckens. "We definitely had a lot of opportunities and no one ever really came up big. We are really just trying to find that consistency, and that's going to be a process that we continue to work on."
Monterey Bay had seven hits, two of those coming off the bat of Reinhardt. Reinhardt (6-5) earned the victory as she struck out seven Tritons in a complete game effort.
"Right now our level of play needs to increase," said Gerckens. "Tomorrow's a new day. We're looking forward to it and we'll come out and try to compete in two games."
The Tritons and Otters resume play Saturday with the concluding half of the series. First pitch is set for 11 a.m.
-- UCSDtritons.com --